Christmas Nine — Part of our farm: the Lord’s? The Devil’s?

Christmas Nine“The Lord’s Acre” – or “Devil’s Half-acre?”

First of all, the patch of land alongside the South Champion-Tylerville road, west of our farm house, wasn’t an acre. But when Mother heard about Lord’s Acre projects, we had to have one. The land between us and Russell’s was just right: near at hand; not all that useful.

Church members young and old across America were dedicating plots. The sterling standard for the idea should have meant sacrificing the very best land if it were to be a gift to God. custodia iphone 6 morbida silicone You know – like first-born son, the top tenth of any income. The best for God.

We didn’t really consider that at the time, as I recall. What we did was plant popcorn on it, tend and harvest it, sell it and give the proceeds to the Community Baptist Church in Tylerville. supreme custodia iphone x

That must have been shortly before I left home for college, because I don’t remember doing the Lord’s Acre thing for very long. I just talked to sister Jan, who agrees that her main memories of that plot of land are of mowing hay for the cows – and of agreeing to a penny or nickel a basket for mustard plants yanked out of the field. custodia iphone 6 antiacqua (Jan also thinks she never did a whole lot of that!)

So: Lord’s Acre; briefly, also the Devil’s Half-acre.

Mother was a lifelong devotee of the Cornell University agriculture extension program. In the mail would come, with amazing frequency, information bulletins. Mother believed that if one was college educated, had land and animals but very little income, life could be made better through continuing education. Especially when it was free.

So when bulletins began promoting the use of soybeans, she began planning. And planting. Soybeans were entirely new to the U.S. economy in the 1940s. They were a hard sell, I was told a decade later by the wife of a gentleman who was the chief executive of a national council for the promotion of soybeans. She was amused by the story I’m going to tell now.

Soybeans have all kinds of goodly, if not always godly, uses, now.

Not then. Easy to plant and tend, they turn into the Devil’s Favorite Bouquet after harvest. custodia iphone plus 8 The stems are steel. The pods are harness-leather. The beans won’t come out of the pods no matter what one does: soak ‘em? Wet harness leather doesn’t yield any better than dry. Hit ‘em they way we did to get at black walnut (not English walnut) meat? They still won’t open, and then of course inside would be bean paste. Who needs that?

A Cornell bulletin one day suggested using an old-fashioned washing-machine wringer (if you could find one, the Ivy-league gothic-campus publication warned; no problem in our house, that’s all we had).
In a flash the extension program bulletin was put down, the washer was pulled away from the wall, and soybean pods were aimed squarely at the wringer. iphone 8 vetro custodia They didn’t want to go through. Okay, give it more power.

Then some went through. Remember why we didn’t want to use a hammer? Well, the pods did burst. Under brute force wringer power, the squashed beans squirted on walls and ceiling (which needed washing, anyway, and now were going to get it). What a grand, glorious mess! And still no soybeans. Not to eat, anyway, as a healthier substitute for limas or favas. Those beans, and the ground they’d grown on, had to be the devil’s work.

Just an ordinary piece of land, after all.

Money for the Lord could come from elsewhere. Promoting the work of the devil through soybeans could be forgotten. custodia silicone iphone 5s Grass grown there would make good hay to become sweet milk. The Devil, and Cornell, be darned.

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